View Full Version : It's been 40 years since I left OKC. A few thoughts on the subject.

07-13-2016, 08:27 PM
It has been 40 years this month that my family and I left OKC to move to Oregon. As I look back on those years I have mixed feelings about leaving. I had grown up in OKC, having gone from first grade to my first year of college there. Those were my formative years. They will always serve as a reference point from which I will view the world although I admit that the OKC I knew 40 years ago is long since gone.

Arriving in Portland, Oregon seemed like landing on another planet. Portland was( and still is ) a very lush, green and international city. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. In terms of employment opportunities Portland, with it's developing high tech industry, was light years ahead of OKC. Recreational activities, with the coast, Cascade mountains and the high desert are still unrivaled. I could go on and on but although Oregon has been very good to me I guess I'm still very much a child of the Great Plains. Flat, open spaces still have a strong appeal to me.

No, I'm not moving back what with me and my wife's family out here, but I have found a compromise: My wife and I have made the "Big Change". After almost 40 years of software development I've said "Good bye" to Hi-tech and decided I'd rather work with horses! Yep, We sold the house, I went to horse shoeing school and we now have a nice horse property in the beautiful high desert of Eastern Oregon. I live in Baker City, Oregon, nestled between the Elkhorn and Wallowa mountains. We figured that if we were going to make a change that now was the time to do it while we still could. It's a gamble but no regrets, I should of done it years ago. Maybe you should, too.

Be that as it may, it's summer and my thoughts still turn to a fiercely hot Midwestern summer day and those warm evenings with fireflies flying in the yard. Memories, and good ones.

I'm sure there's more than a few of you expats out there who have similar thoughts. I'd love to hear them.


07-13-2016, 09:24 PM
My brother did something similar. He moved to California about 40 years ago and spent several years in the bay area before spending most of that time in LA. However, he retired a few months ago and moved back to OKC. He's loving it being back here and finds it much more financially favorable for a retired person.

09-23-2016, 05:48 AM
It has been fifty (50) years since I moved from Oklahoma City, not by choice I am afraid, I was drafted into the Army in April 1966, four days after I was married.

My wife was attending college in Oklahoma City and was born and raised in South Texas as her father worked in the oil drilling business and they finally settled in San Marcos, Texas.

I had planned on returning to Oklahoma City when I was discharged in 1968, but my wife asked if we could relocate to somewhere close to both my parents in Oklahoma City and her folks in San Marcos, Texas.

Got a map and found that Dallas, Texas was exactly midway and I had been stationed at Fort Wolters, Texas (Mineral Wells) and we had visited the Dallas-Fort Worth area several times. I had since early childhood wanted to be a police officer, so I applied to the Texas Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol), Fort Worth Police Department and Dallas Police Department.

Dallas contacted me first and after several trips to Dallas from Oklahoma City where we were staying, I was hired in April 1968.

I still miss Oklahoma City, a much more friendlier city, with much more friendly people. My folks passed away, the last in 1991 and I have only been back twice since 1991 and can not believe how things have changed. I graduated from Central High School after attending Putnam Heights Elementary and Harding Junior High. Found Central High School was being utilized at that time by AT&T, Harding Junior/Senior High was a specialized Learning Center (I have no idea what this is), but Putnam Heights Elementary was unchanged and I was surprised still being utilized.

I was unable to attend my High School Reunions due to my wife's health issues. There is an Alumni Association which sends out a quarterly newsletter including death notices and I am afraid there are very few of the Class of 1963 remaining that I knew.

All during my career, my wife and I planned on moving to a much cooler area of the country when I retired. While trying to decide where to look, she had some very serious health issues which have more or less kept us in Dallas.

I think of Oklahoma City often, especially my teen age years. I keep up with the postings on this forum and are often saddened by learning of the closing of places my family enjoyed and my friends and I frequented while in high school.

Would not give anything for my childhood years in Oklahoma City, a great place to grow up.

My wife and I celebrated our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary this past April, times sure flies, it sure doesn't seem that long ago we were dumb kids trying to survive on Military Pay in a unfamiliar town west of Fort Worth, the only place we could afford was a garage apartment where it was extremely cold in the winter and unbelievably hot in the LONG summers.

09-23-2016, 12:53 PM
It has been fifty (50) years since I moved from Oklahoma City, not by choice I am afraid, I was drafted into the Army in April 1966, four days after I was married....


One of the things I miss the most is losing track of the people I knew and what's going on in their lives. I knew so many people that I started first grad with( Rollingwood Elementary School ) and was in classes with all the way through high school( Putnam City High School ). I miss seeing how their lives have turned out. I too, look at the alumni web site and see who has, alas, passed away.

A shout out to Pete in appreciation for this web site where I can get occasional tidbits of news from the past.


12-25-2016, 03:15 AM
Mike, when did you graduate from Putnam City High School?

12-25-2016, 08:28 PM
Mike, when did you graduate from Putnam City High School?

I graduated Putnam City High School in 1975. What a great time it was.

Cold with lots of snow out here in the high desert NE Oregon. Beautiful, but cold!


12-25-2016, 08:37 PM
I had cousins that graduated from Putnam City High School, but they are my age and graduated in 1961 through 1963.